Richard Ramírez or also known as The Night Stalker (born as Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramírez; on February 28 or 29, 1960) is an American serial killer, sex offender, rapist and burglar awaiting execution on California's death row at San Quentin State Prison. Prior to his arrest, the media dubbed the unknown serial killer active in Los Angeles, California, the "Night Stalker"; following his arrest, sensationalist reporting of his apparent interest in the occult and Satanism was common.
Ricardo (Richard) Muñoz Ramírez was born in El Paso, Texas, the youngest of five children to working class Mexican immigrants Julián Ramírez and Mercedes Muñoz. As a child, he was remembered as being quiet and a loner by those who knew him. When Ramírez was two, he developed a contusion on his head after a dresser fell on him, and he had to receive over 30 stitches. He also suffered from grand mal seizures and was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy when he was six. By the age of 10, Ramírez reportedly began to spend nights in cemeteries.
When Ramírez was 13 years old, he began to spend a great deal of time with his cousin Mike, a Special Forces Vietnam War veteran. Mike fascinated Ramírez with Polaroid photographs of Vietnamese women whom he boasted of killing and torturing. The two spent time driving around and, according to Ramírez, during that time Mike taught him how to shoot and cut people for "maximum effect".